Study finds that WHO’s vaccine program saved 154 million lives in the last 50 years

A new study quantified the global impact of WHO’s Expanded Programme on Immunization on the 50th anniversary of the program’s inception. The study found that the program’s vaccination efforts have prevented 154 million deaths worldwide, 146 million of which were in children under 5. Vaccine and public health experts shared the study and started conversations about the importance of combating anti-vaccination efforts.

Recommendation: Trending conversations about vaccines provide an opportunity for community-based organizations and other partners to recirculate existing content and materials about safety and the importance of routine vaccines. Messaging may include these latest numbers and emphasize that routine immunizations are backed by decades of research and held to the highest safety standards. Each year, millions of children safely receive vaccines that have saved millions of lives and spared generations of children from deadly and debilitating diseases that were once rampant. Ensuring that informational materials explain that recent infectious disease outbreaks are due to declining vaccination rates is also recommended.